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General Automotive General automotive discussion. This is intended to be a discussion about other not VW and Diesel cars you may have or interested in.

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Old December 9th, 2017, 08:48   #3811
john.jackson9213
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For me, it started with buying a couple of electric bikes for my wife & I. Not only are they totally fun, I found I could ride it up to ~50 miles on a charge. A lot of guys call them "cheater" bikes but they are the great equalizer when going out on a ride with my wife. She simply uses more electric assist to keep up to me. We both end up great exercise and ride longer distances.

Before that, my take on electric cars was that they were expensive toys for the eccentric left wingers, and greenpeace activists. They made zero financial sense, and for that matter, the environmental benefits were marginal. Reading about the degradation on Leaf batteries confirmed my bias against them. I had made up my mind that EVs were pretty much a joke funded by taxpayers.

I started looking into solar as a hobby project, and more about sticking it to the power company than anything to do with the environment. I started out running the numbers on 4 panels, but the project morphed into 41. After minimizing the cost of the project by going with 5-year old panels and doing a lot of my own DIY - I got it done at under $2/watt (the local installer was quoting $4.50).

We were exporting a lot of power to the grid, especially in the summer. Because our base power rates are pretty low, it bugged me that I was basically giving it away for next to nothing so that the POCO could just turn around and sell it to my neighbors for a tidy profit. That's when I took a serious look at EVs. I was absolutely floored at how cheap you could pick up a nearly new, very low mileage "used" EV for. I ran the numbers, and it made sense for us.

The rest is history. So, I guess you could say I'm "doing my part" (for the environment) - but really, it was unintentional and only a side effect of looking for ways to save money while sticking it to the man.
This is how the EV and Solar will really grow - It (solar/EV) is/are very, very close to a tipping point for most of us in urban areas. Personally, I am seeing more and more people who have done the math with Solar and find it makes sense. Once you have the solar installed, an Electric Vehicles starts to make economic sense as a replacement for at least one car.
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Old December 9th, 2017, 10:48   #3812
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Generally laws have been trending towards more acceptance of electric bicycles, although with codifying specific restrictions for their use.
Thanks for the info. Quite interesting details when you drill down through it. I was thinking more specifically about RAGBRAI. Itís a week long fully supported and sanctioned bike ride across Iowa. Just you, your bike, and about 10,000 of you closest friends. My assumption is that ebikes will be refused entry over the next few years. Seems to be a safety issue with that many riders.
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Old December 9th, 2017, 11:00   #3813
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E-bikes still being sold in NYC despite ban.
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/05/...-year-old-ban/
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Old December 9th, 2017, 16:18   #3814
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The trick with that particular ban is that:
  1. It never actually banned sales (it only required disclosure that the "motorized scooter" is for private property only)
  2. It only applied to wheeled devices that could be propelled without human power - read, throttle, not pedal-assist-only.

My understanding is that NYC doesn't go after pedal-assist e-bikes, just throttle.
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Old December 10th, 2017, 21:50   #3815
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In the event members are interested in electric bike laws in their area:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws

Where I live:

"Alberta identifies e-bikes as "power bicycles" and is consistent with the federal definition of "power-assisted bicycle" in MVSR CRC, c 1038 s 2.[19] Motor output must not exceed 500 W (0.671 hp) and e-bikes cannot travel faster than 32 km/h (20 mph). Fully operable pedals are required. No driver's license, vehicle insurance, or vehicle registration is required. Operators must be 12 years of age or older. All operators are required to wear a motorcycle helmet meeting the standards set in AR 122/2009 s 112(2).[20] A passenger is permitted only if the e-bike is equipped with a seat designated for that passenger.[21]"

Here's a video of the BULLS E-Stream EVO FS 3 bikes we ride now as reviewed by my buddy Court.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=-SECENhrHEg

They are full suspension bikes. I was going to buy a "women's" model for my wife, but it made more sense just getting two of the same model ones, only that we ordered her bike with a smaller frame.

If anyone is interested learning more about ebikes, check out his site:
www.electricbikereview.com. His reviews are great.
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Old December 10th, 2017, 23:20   #3816
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This is how the EV and Solar will really grow - It (solar/EV) is/are very, very close to a tipping point for most of us in urban areas. Personally, I am seeing more and more people who have done the math with Solar and find it makes sense. Once you have the solar installed, an Electric Vehicles starts to make economic sense as a replacement for at least one car.
Based on the size of this thread I'd say "Most of us" are interested in Solar / EV's but affordability and ROI give people pause. The math made sense, only because I got creative with the numbers, but mostly it still took a leap of faith.
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Old December 10th, 2017, 23:41   #3817
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Based on the size of this thread I'd say "Most of us" are interested in Solar / EV's but affordability and ROI give people pause. The math made sense, only because I got creative with the numbers, but mostly it still took a leap of faith.

^^^^^^
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Old December 11th, 2017, 05:06   #3818
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Careful with that Wikipedia article, verify what's stated in it with other sources.

I've seen some major errors re: Ohio in there in the past, and had to correct them - Ohio considers even one watt of assist to be a motorized bicycle, which requires licensing and registration (as well as some equipment requirements that are actually a bit hard for a bicycle to meet), and has zero legal access to cycling infrastructure. (There's also a lot of reliance on some provisions of the federal regulation on electric bicycles (namely, one that basically says that LSEBs are to be treated bicycles in all regulation), that probably don't work the way people think they do - for instance, while it definitely means that federal regulators must regulate a LSEB as a regular bicycle, it's unclear whether it affects state laws.)

Granted, if you aren't someone that the police are likely to pull over in the first place, and are using pedal assist rather than a throttle, keeping it quiet, and not going too fast, you're probably fine even in states like Ohio that fully ban e-bikes.

There's also some places like NYC that, even though NYS law fully bans e-bikes, the city treats pedal assist as legal, and therefore has decided not to enforce the state law (although they may pull over pedal assist bikes to verify, and may impound them if they can't verify that it's only pedal assist...)
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Old December 11th, 2017, 07:47   #3819
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Those laws wiil (probably) only come into effect if you have already done something stupid and the authorities can use that extra push to assign you fault. Such as getting in an accident and they determine the fault was because you were going too fast. I've known a few people that were threatened with tickets for exceeding the speed limit on bikes before. Not sure any of them were actually ticketed though. Also, at least in NC, they can charge you with DUI for riding your bike while drunk.
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Old December 11th, 2017, 08:41   #3820
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Same applies in Ohio - in fact, the only violations on a bicycle that can count against your driver's license are operating a vehicle under the influence, and vehicular homicide.

I'm personally of the opinion that DUI/OVI/DWI/whatever it's called "counting" on a bicycle is actually a dangerous policy, because it means that riding home and driving home are considered equally bad in the eyes of the law, and they're totally different levels of danger to the public.
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Old December 11th, 2017, 09:09   #3821
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When I lived in Wisconsin, many people who had lost the licenses due to dui were riding scooters since they did not have to be registered. Didn't stop any of them from drinking and driving. Just meant they were less protected when they ran into something.

I should add that from a bike advocacy stand point, even if that is your only form of transportation, you should still carry vehicle insurance.
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Old December 11th, 2017, 09:57   #3822
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When I lived in Wisconsin, many people who had lost the licenses due to dui were riding scooters since they did not have to be registered. Didn't stop any of them from drinking and driving. Just meant they were less protected when they ran into something.

I should add that from a bike advocacy stand point, even if that is your only form of transportation, you should still carry vehicle insurance.

They ???????

AFAIAC a dui on a 200-300 pound scooter is better for the rest of us.

maybe he/she will wear a helmet.
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Old December 11th, 2017, 10:13   #3823
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In Wisconsin it is legal to ride a pedal powered bicycle drunk as long as you are not a hazard. DUI does not apply. A guy does a pub crawl in Milwaukee and they use bikes. If you attach a motor of any kind to the bicycle, DUI applies.
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Old December 11th, 2017, 10:49   #3824
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That makes sense to me. DUI should only apply to motorized vehicles, imo. Public intoxication or some other charge should apply to drunken bicyclists who are operating in an unsafe manner.
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Old December 11th, 2017, 11:42   #3825
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Those laws wiil (probably) only come into effect if you have already done something stupid and the authorities can use that extra push to assign you fault. Such as getting in an accident and they determine the fault was because you were going too fast.
Speed limited 19 MPH electric bikes are perfectly safe, it's only a relatively few stupid riders that do stupid things like hacking their bikes to unlock 30+ MPH, and then run over people on public trails that ruin it for the rest of us.
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